One of the biggest topics of discussion with the coming expansion is the flexible lockouts, and with 10-man and 25-man raids sharing lockouts. Many guilds have to make this decision based on a large number of variables. Our guild has decided to go the route of 10-man raiding.

One of the biggest reasons behind this decision is just simply that it’s easier to get 10 people to do what needs to be done rather than 25 people to do what needs to be done. While our guild is not the most progressed guild on our server, or even overall, there are several people that know what they are doing in the guild and we feel that we could get a lot further without feeling like we are carrying others. Unfortunate as it may be, this has seemed to be the case throughout Wrath of the Lich King and, in short, a lot of people are very tired of having to deal with this kind of situation.

In truth, I actually look forward to downshifting from a 25-man focus. There are times where I felt that sticking with 25-mans as our primary focus has overall hindered us as a guild in terms of progression and also just in a general sense of stress levels for the officers in the guild. As a raid leader, it will make it much, much less stressful, and overall easier to deal with getting people coordinated. As an officer, it may yet prove to be a poor choice, too.

One of the other things that I feel is going to be better in the end for our guild as a general with changing to a 10-man format from a 25-man format, we will likely get to do hardmodes sooner. Due to various circumstances, we were unable to even start hardmodes until 4.0.1 hit. In the end, we did get there, so it’s not the worst thing ever, by any means. I think, though, we could have gotten there much, much sooner. My personal goals are to see hardmodes much sooner this time around, and I’m hoping that there are other officers and raiders that are agreeable with this.

As of this moment, one of the things that I am looking forward to is the variety and number of encounters. Since it is 10-man, it is going to be inherently more difficult just due to not having the number of people available as would be in 25-man. Naturally in the smaller raid environment, one player’s death impacts the raid so much more than if it were in 25-man. So it presents its own unique challenge.

Despite everything, and the possibility of loot being a higher drop amount in 25-man hardmodes, I’m actually perfectly okay with sticking with 10-man. Our track record isn’t altogether great with 25-man raiding (we’ve made several progression kills for our guild shorthanded, as of at least ToC, when I first joined our guild in August of 2009). We never did get a 25-man Lich King kill, either. All in all, I’m happy with this route. Even though it’s far more likely to wipe a raid with one person dying in 10-man, it eases up on a lot of stress in general when you only have 10 people rather than 25. Doubly so as a raid leader and trying to figure out who messed up, and even more so as a healer raid leading. That presents its own unique opportunity and challenge, which I’m perfectly content with.

So what about you? Are you going to go with 25-man raiding, or 10-man raiding?